TIME TO REFLECT: Sidney and Junette Paskins at Amiens on Sunday.
TIME TO REFLECT: Sidney and Junette Paskins at Amiens on Sunday. Liana Turner

Region's history celebrated with guides

AMIENS has a rich history based around its almost century-old soldier settler background.

In the lead -up to the 100th year since it was first settled by returned servicemen, the community gathered to celebrate its history.

Amiens Historical Association president Roger Willis said he was pleased with the turnout on the day.

He said they ran three bus tours, based on the newly-published Amiens Way tour guide.

The association has also released a guide to the Amiens township.

"The feedback I had was that they really enjoyed it so that was really satisfying,” he said.

"The link we have with the past through the families, some people still have that.

"There's other people that have moved away from the district but still have an empathy for the area because they're descendants from a soldier settler.

"There were over 500 so there's quite a few people that feel a connection with the district.”

He said some descendants, including the late artist Jean Harslett, had kept records which had helped them to compile the mass of information.

"We're blessed with people who have kept records,” he said.

He said in 2020, they hoped to re-enact the visit of the Prince of Wales, who opened the original rail line in Amiens.

The association's treasurer Paula Boatfield said she was happy with the turnout on Sunday.

She said they were thankful for the support of the Granite Belt and wider communities, Amiens State School and P&C and Kenty Saddlery for their assistance.

Member for the Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg, who spoke at Sunday's event, said the Amistice Way was a "fantastic part of Queensland with... a deep history”.

"I've often thought, going through some of the really, really hard areas, that the soldiers settlers had to open up and pioneer... just some of the toughness that they had to display,” he said.

"I think that we're forever in debt that they did it because (otherwise) we wouldn't have a community like this.”

Sidney Paskins, whose grandfather was a solder settler in Amiens, said it meant a lot to have such effort invested in preserving the history of the Armistice Way townships.

Mr Paskins said it was crucial the region retained a connection to that heritage.

The Armistice Way and Amiens guides are available for purchase at Stanthorpe Museum.

For more info visit www. amiensqldhistory.com.

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